This weekend Ethan took part in his first-ever Swimming Gala. We started taking Ethan to his special needs swimming club when he got too big to attend the mother and baby swimming lessons at our local pool. He was five and starting school. He still needed so much support in the water and had only really just started to learn you needed to kick your legs to move. His club has a squad and they take part in many gala’s. Well, they did before covid! Darren never thought Ethan would cope with a swimming gala so we never put this name forward. Darren must have had a change of heart. A few weeks ago he came home telling me about the Christmas gala and that he had put Ethan’s name down.
The Christmas Swimming Gala
It turns out there was a bit of a mix up with the gala. They weren’t 100% sure we wanted Ethan to swim in it so his name wasn’t put down. But we had been talking about it to Ethan and he came across as keen. They were able to fit him in and he swam in the 25 meters, breaststroke and relay race.
Now Ethan is a seeker and he loves clapping and cheering. He loved cheering on the swimmers in their races. It also made the races he swam in very entertaining. Going to the gala quickly turned into one of the best nights we had out for ages!
Swimming 25 Meters
We know Ethan can swim 25 meters, he swam 300 meters with the club earlier this year. He has also been awarded 50 meters and 10-meter awards. But being in a race to swim 25 meters is something completely different and new to Ethan. Darren took Ethan down to the pool and Ethan got ready in his lane. All the time he was cheering and clapping the children currently swimming. When the whistle blew Ethan started swimming whilst still clapping and cheering. Halfway across the pool, he must have realised that he needed to speed up in a race. He stopped clapping and put all his effort into swimming. He was in last place in the race but suddenly swam past everyone claiming the first place spot.
Every swimmer taking part in this race was given a ‘gold’ medal. We are so proud of Ethan and he was so excited by it all.
Now I wouldn’t say that Ethan has perfected a breaststroke of any kind but still, he had a go. In this race, Ethan didn’t swim slowly to clap and cheer. He did however keep an eye on me and his sister. Probably to make sure we were clapping. But he swam so well that he came third. We think if he wasn’t looking at us he might have been faster.
The Relay Race
The relay race was a fun race for everyone to take part in. Just to give them all an idea of what you have to do in these races. Ethan’s team came fourth out of the four teams. This left Ethan being the last person in the pool swimming his part of the race. Everyone watching clapped and cheered for him. Some even gave him a standing ovation when he finished. It was such a great experience and he loved every minute.
Extra Christmas Swimming Gala Awards
Ethan was given another award at the end of the swimming gala. The committee gave him an award for an outstanding effort.
Father Christmas also paid the club a visit and gave all the swimmers a medal from him.
We are so proud of Ethan and we all had a great time. Ethan was in his element and has lots of medals to prove it. I wonder if this gala will be the first of many!